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16th Annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk 2014 | Dogs & Your Skin

Mighty-Texas-Dog-Walk-2014-poster-e1396452987285 Furry friends are some of the best friends! This year marks the 16th Annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk here in Austin. On May 17th, Austin dogs (and owners, of course) will be taking to the streets around the Parmer Event Center for a refreshing walk that helps benefit Service Dogs, Inc.

This group is a non-profit that trains Service & Hearing Dogs for deaf patients or those with disabilities. This important program betters many lives by these magnificent and well-trained dogs. We hope the weather permits and that you take your four legged best friend out for a walk that supports a good cause!

Mites and Bites

Although dogs are considered “Man’s Best Friend” it is important to think about those who are not as able to interact with pets. “Scabies, although rare with well-maintained animals, is an itchy skin condition caused by small mites,” notes Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board certified Dermatologist in Austin, TX. These mites can make their home in dogs’ skin, and are capable of making their way to human skin. “These mites are extremely contagious and leads to intense itching, especially in the folds or along the waistline,” adds Dr. Mamelak.

Cheyletiellosis is another type of mite that infest dogs and sometimes looms around pets shops and kennels. “This might produces walking dandruff,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, dermatologist and skin care expert at Sanova Dermatology. “Literally, a flaky and scaly rash  that looks like it’s moving.” In humans, the eruption is more bumpy and localized to the trunk and arms. “Thankfully, all of these infestations can be effectively treated with scabicides – topical and oral medications that target the motes,” notes Dr. Hanson.

Cutaneous Larval Migrans

This hookworm infection occurs when a dog takes in food or water infested with this parasite’s larvae. The worms take residence in the animals’ gut and is excreted in the dogs feces. “When it affects humans, a itchy serpiginous line is often observed on the foot or lower extremity,” explains Dr. Mamelak. “Just one wrong step is all that might be needed for humans to become affected by this condition…”


“These red ring-shaped rashes are common in children, can be itchy and contagious,” says Dr. Hanson. Ringworms are caused by fungi (known as dermatophytes) that infect the skin of animals and can be passed to humans. “You can pick these fungi up simply bu touching or petting the skin of an affected animal.” There are great treatments available for ringworm, both for patients and animals, so it is rarely necessary to part ways with your pet.

Pet Dander

Other pet and dog related issues that can arise are due to pet dander. Pet dander is described as the dead skin cells that come from animals, not from fur as many believe. These cells can shed and distribute themselves to areas where the animals have not visited and can cause serious reactions for certain individuals. Some skin issues that arise from contact with pet dander include itchiness, rash, or even hives. This can be quite alarming, especially when you aren’t aware that you have an allergy to a specific animal. Yet another reason why visiting a dermatologist is always a good first step in deciphering the cause of a rash and learning what you can do to keep your skin is calm, healthy, and happy!


If you suspect your skin problem might be caused by your pet, contact us at Sanova Dermatology and set up a consultation with one of our dermatologists today!

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